If you view sales appointments as an opportunity to wax lyrical about your product, you’re probably not closing as many sales as you could.
Sales is much less about the ins and outs of your product and more about how it will solve a problem for the prospect. So, a more effective approach to selling is to simply ask questions.
The right questions help you uncover the prospect’s needs. You can learn a lot about what the prospect wants and better position your product to meet those desires.
One of the most important things to remember in a sales appointment is to practice active listening. That means listening without interrupting, smiling, nodding, and confirming your understanding of what the prospect is saying.
The more engaged and interested you are in the conversation, the more likely the person you are talking to is going to relax and become open to the questions you ask.
How to Ask Questions
Your primary aim of questioning is to get the prospect to open up and give you an indication as to what problem can be solved with your product – they essentially do the selling for you. To do that, you must take a logical approach to the conversation. You can’t just dive in and start asking probing questions.
The first thing to do is ask permission. Your prospect will likely be more willing to divulge information if they have given you permission to begin questioning. So, before you start probing for problems to solve, ask one simple question – “may I ask you a couple of questions?”
Start with broad questions such as, “can you tell me a little about yourself,” and then build on their responses. Listen closely for key pieces of information that could be important indicators of pain points that need solving.
Types of Questions to Ask
The right question could launch a prospect into an in-depth speech that discloses lots of valuable information. For that to happen, though, you will probably need to try a few different types of questions to see which is more effective for a particular prospect.
Some of the most effective questions relate to the prospects buying history, their current lifestyle, or professional activities. So, you might ask questions like “when did you last buy a product like the one I am offering,” “what qualities do you look for in this product,” or “has budget been an issue for you in making a purchase decision?”
The First Answer is Rarely the Most Valuable
The first answer to your question is rarely the best. That why it is important to follow up – probe deeper. Follow up questions are mainly important for a couple of reasons; firstly, people often only give reflexive answers on the first try. Secondly, the first answer is the one that all your competitors probably have; you can gain an advantage by digging deeper.
The initial answer to your question should be viewed as the starting point for your investigation. The most valuable insights lay somewhere in the answers given to your follow up questions.
Of course, you don’t get an indefinite amount of time with a prospect. You need to ensure that you use the time you do have to ask high impact questions.
Take your sales to the next level. Call Xcel Sales now on 0118 402 1440, or leave us a message – INFO@XCELSALES.CO.UK